Sweet Suite 2016

Silvergate Renews Fisher-Price as Master Toy Licensee for Octonauts

OctonautsSilvergate Media has signed a three-year master toy renewal deal with Fisher-Price Inc. for Octonauts, its undersea preschool adventure property.

Fisher-Price has been Silvergate’s toy partner for Octonauts since 2011, with the brand established as a leading preschool toy property in the United States, UK, Europe, Australia, and Korea. A successful toy launch is underway in China, with one in Russia to follow this fall. Fisher-Price plans to launch more than 20 new toys in 2016, based around a fantastic “Year of Slime” play pattern. [Read more...]

Disney Star Darlings Debuts First On-Air Special

star-darlings-in-halo-hall_1817e7bfDisney’s new original tween show Star Darlings, will premiere its first on-air special tonight on Disney Channel. The 30 minute on air special, “Becoming Star Darlings,” introduces 12 “Star-Charmed” girls who pursue their individual wishes with determination and the help of their friends. The special will extend the stories from the  book series, Star Darlings from Disney Publishing Worldwide. [Read more...]

eOne Names Just Play as Global Master Toy Partner for PJ Masks

PJMasksEntertainment One has appointed Just Play LLC as global master toy partner for its TV series, PJ Masks, in response to growing consumer demand from families across the U.S. The debut range of toys and playthings from Just Play based on the superhero-themed show will launch at retail in the U.S. this fall and then roll out to international territories next year. Just Play will produce an extensive line of toys across multiple categories, including action figures, play sets, vehicles, plush, dress-up, and role-play. [Read more...]

Hasbro and Disney Team Up on Descendants Fashion Dolls and Accessories

DescendantsGroupshotHasbro Inc. is collaborating with Disney Consumer Products on an array of dolls and accessories inspired by the upcoming movie, Descendants, which is premiering on Disney Channel this summer. Disney’s Descendants is a contemporary live-action adventure comedy that introduces the teenage progeny of Disney’s legacy characters—most notably its evil villains. [Read more...]

Frozen Merchandise Helps Disney to Huge First Quarter

As reported by the Associated Press, The Walt Disney Co.‘s earnings rose 19 percent during the last three months of 2014, boosted by sales of Disney Frozen merchandise, as well as strong results from theme parks and networks such as Disney Channel. Sales of Frozen toys and other merchandise drove a 22 percent jump in consumer products sales to $1.4 billion.

In interviews with analysts and press, CEO Bob Iger pointed out that Frozen isn’t Disney’s only blockbuster franchise. The company has 11 franchises with more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales.

For the last three months of 2014, Disney earned $2.24 billion, while revenue rose 9 percent to $13.39 billion.

Hasbro in Talks to Buy DreamWorks Animation

Hasbro logoAs initially reported by Deadline, Hasbro Inc. is in early talks to buy DreamWorks Animation SKG. The deal would give the toy maker, which has clout with major retailers, an animation studio that just recently began diversifying beyond the movies.

For each company, a deal could help accelerate movement beyond their core businesses. DreamWorks Animation has expanded into consumer products in recent years, but still lags behind Walt Disney Co., while Hasbro recently sold off some of its stake in the Hub cable network.

dreamworks_animation_logoThrough its relatively new film label, Allspark Pictures, Hasbro has movies in the works based on its toy brands, My Little Pony and Jem and the Holograms. It is also launching a new Transformers cartoon series on the Cartoon Network, having had trouble edging in on children’s networks Nickelodeon and Disney Channel.

Should a deal be reached, it would likely come during the next two to four weeks, and would result in a family entertainment powerhouse to be called DreamWorks-Hasbro, according to a source in the article. Hasbro could also have management of the new entity already in place: On Wednesday, the company appointed Stephen Davis, who has led Hasbro Studios since its launch in 2009, to the role of executive vice president, chief content officer.

In this new role, Davis will be responsible for developing content for Hasbro’s brands across multiple platforms. He will also work closely with Hasbro’s president and chief executive officer, Brian Goldner, to oversee Allspark Pictures (This aspect of Davis’ role was announced prior to news about the possible Hasbro-DreamWorks deal), as well as franchise films such as Transformers that are produced in partnership with major studios.

Disney Consumer Products Launches Star Wars Rebels Products

Star_Wars_Rebels_The_Ghost_Disney Consumer Products has released a new product assortment in celebration of Star Wars Rebels, which debuts October 3 on Disney Channel and continues on October 13 on Disney XD. The show has inspired new lines of figures, spaceships and lightsabers, apparel and accessories, home décor, books, and more from licensees including Hasbro, Lego, Mad Engine, Rubies, and Jay Franco.

Disney Publishing Worldwide also supports the show with a new book program and series of mobile apps from Disney Lucasfilm Press that will expand upon the series. Star Wars Journeys, an episodic series of apps from Disney Publishing, will be updated this October to include the stories that lead up to the adventures in Star Wars Rebels. Star Wars Scene Maker will launch early next year and gives fans a storytelling experience that allows them to re-imagine and recreate scenes from the show. [Read more...]

Hasbro to Step Back from The Hub Children’s Network

Hasbro logoAs reported by The Wall Street Journal, Discovery Communications Inc. and Hasbro Inc. are ending their equal partnership in The Hub, a cable network that hoped to become a force in children’s television against Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel.

Under the terms being completed, Discovery would take a controlling interest in The Hub and reposition the channel as a family network aimed at parents as well as children. Hasbro will retain a large stake in the service and control six hours of daytime programming on the network, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Launched in 2010 with a $300 million investment from Hasbro for half of the network, The Hub was designed to be an outlet for some of Hasbro’s best-known toy brands, including G.I. Joe, Transformers, and My Little Pony.

The makeover could take place as early as the fourth quarter, with The Hub renamed Discovery Family.

Jazwares Appointed Master Toy Partner for Ella the Elephant

DHXMEDIAEllaDHX Media has appointed Jazwares Inc. as the global master toy partner on preschool property Ella the Elephant for the U.S., Canada, UK, Ireland, Latin America, Middle East, Australia, Spain, and Norway. The deal will enable Jazwares to launch worldwide plush, dolls figures, and play sets, vehicles, role play, and musical instruments based on the animated preschool series, which is currently airing weekdays on Disney Channel and Disney Junior.

Ella the Elephant is a charming and whimsical animated preschool series based on the award-winning Ella the Elegant Elephant book series written by Carmela D’Amico and illustrated by Steven D’Amico. The series follows the adventures of Ella and her friends on Elephant Islands. Ella is a spirited little elephant with a big heart, bigger imagination, and a magic hat that can transform into almost anything.

Star Wars Rebels Preview Launches on Star Wars Day

StarWarsRebelsStar Wars Day, an unofficial holiday created by Star Wars fans to celebrate the sci-fi franchise, took place this past Sunday, May 4. To mark the occasion, Lucasfilm released a new minute-long trailer for Star Wars Rebels. The animated TV series is scheduled to premiere this fall on Disney Channel, and will be followed by a series on Disney XD channels worldwide.